Informational and structural barriers to uptake of preventive behaviours among Healthcare workers working in both isolation and non-isolation sitesduring COVID 19 in Zambia
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Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), Zambia
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A319
 Healthcare workers(HCWs) are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their jobs, handling patients in proximity. We aimed to explore HCWs perspectives on their knowledge, skills needs, attitudes towards, and their ability to practice preventive behaviours in the context of COVID-19 in Zambia. 20 in-depth interviews (IDIs) via phone.10 from an isolation facility and 10 from a non-isolation facility. Preliminary results: HCWs had sufficient information on how COVID-19, is transmitted, managed, and prevented. Some participants received training on oxygen therapy, infection prevention practices, donning and doffing and admission of critically ill patients but would want more continous training. Facility changes such as increased staffing, outdoor screening tents, temperature checks helped reduce the spread in the facilities. HCW continued to practice infection prevention to protect themselves from COVID-19 but faced challenges of insufficient, supplies and equipment to meet prevention needs and treat COVID-19 patients and NCD patients were some of the noted challenges faced in the prevention and management of COVID-19.HCW also mentioned the emotional stress of treating patients, especially during the surge, where they felt overwhelmed and anxious handling patients and felt the need to have mental health services offered to them recommended that for them to be adequately protected they needed an adequate and consistent supply of well-fitting PPE, tests kits and medication for comorbid diseases like diabetes and hypertension and availability of products to enhance infection prevention control such as running water, soap, hand sanitisers, and gloves. Conclusions:HCWs in all health facilities need continuous training, as COVID-19 evolves. There is a need for supply of quality well-fitting PPE, more rapid test kits and a sufficient supply of medication for comorbid diseases will also aid in ensuring a reduction in transmission of COVID-19 in facilities.
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